This Week In Freelancer Fashion

By Julia Prescott

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Freelancing is a lonely business. No matter what we achieve, our Aunt Josies will assume we’re wasting the day away on naps, when in truth we are napping only 30% of the time (a percentage, we argue, that would be otherwise spent in traffic. Your move, Aunt Josie!).

Then there’s the general lack of “office culture.” No birthday cake in the rec room, no free coffee from watered-down Keurig machines, and the worst offense of all: no Janine from Accounting to compliment your meticulously selected office-business-casual-hip-AF outfit.

This is bad for morale, bad for social well-being, and bad for America. Most people don’t know this, but 70% of this country’s offices thrive on the energy produced by pleasant exchanges about fashion. When the lights dim, it’s because “Your outfit’s so cute!” morale is at an all time low. Trust me, it’s science.

As someone who’s freelanced for the past four years, I, for one, am sick of being denied compliments on my outfit. Even when I roll up in yoga pants lousy with cat hair, wearing an old T-shirt from a 5K my mother ran/walked in the ’80s when she was going through her “fitness phase” years before I was born, I still would like a shred of validation! Which is why I’m proud to bring you This Week in Freelancer Fashion.

Just because we’re freelancing doesn’t mean we aren’t fabulous.

TESS BARKER — @tesstifybarker

Our first model is bad-ass comedian/writer/professional freelancer Tess Barker. You can see Tess’ work EVERYWHERE from VICE to Jezebel as well as the m’f’in Guardian (read her latest article sassily dismantling the injustices served to NBA cheerleaders here). She’s the real deal, as is her look for today:


Tess is wearing an argent-hued vintage knitted cap playfully tucked beneath a set of headphones. Her multi-colored fleece pashmina draped ever-so-slightly over the crown of her blonde locks is sure to be the trend come this Spring at Fashion Week. Her matching V-neck is a revelation in off-the-rack couture. This is surely a look that says, “Come at me, world!” In a soft whisper, since her boyfriend was probably napping in the next room.

ALEXIS GIBSON — @notaquasar

Alexis currently helps bring internet-themed laughter into our streaming devices through @Midnight, but before that she was freelancing hard throughout Hollywood.


Alexis masterfully color blocks in this stunner. Who knew raven matched so well with ebony? Or onyx-toned pants were the perfect companion to jet-hued flats? Alexis is truly a color innovator here, while still remaining well within the requirements for a stagehand at the Academy Awards. Bra-vo, sister! Get ready for your close-up, because you’re for sure getting cropped out of a celebrity selfie.


Atsuko’s a freelance editor who performs stand up for Beer and Wine events as well as colleges. She’s currently touring with Anna Akana throughout the Improv Comedy Clubs in Southern California and travels with her all Asian, mostly female stand up comedy group, Dis/orient/Ed Comedy all over the U.S.

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Who is Atsuko wearing? Why, the Exhilaration Target stretchy-bra collection of course! Couple that with Laura Kightlinger’s blankets (she’s house-sitting) and you’ve got a look that says, “If I’m gonna wash my mouth out with Diet Mountain Dew before this conference call with New York, I’m gonna look fierce AF.” Besides, no one can detect that caffeinated tremble in your work emails…right? Right??

LAURA NILES — @lauraniles

Laura is multi-multi-multi hyphenate boasting a BA in International Relations from USC, and is a speaker of Mandarin Chinese, a member of American MENSA, as well as an AMATEUR BOXER. Laura freelances as a writer in sketch and stand-up, as well as voice-over acting, and other incredibly smart and inspiring things.


Laura’s a stand-out in her stark contrast white tee tucked into her midnight blue meets dim gray meets taupe meets charcoal meets cafe noir meets jet-black slacks. Please note this look is incomplete without a living dog.


Mary’s a self-employed graphic artist and an incredible home renovator. Between spackling, tiling, landscaping, and painting, she finds time for the fashion-ier things in life.


In this inspired look, Mary rocks “the latest spring collection by Hermes…oh wait, no…it’s by Hanes.” What more could a modern gal ask for than a fashionable frock that not only exclaims to the world that you’re of the moment, but you’re also of the right mind to kick some renovating ass? Here she poses with tasteful embellishments of paint, which she describes as “an homage to Jackson Pollock.” Then she finishes the look with a pair of vintage shorts by Old Navy, 2002, Boys Department. As if this chic-shabby-chic fashionable sandwich couldn’t get any better, she touches off the look with a pair of classic Rocket Dog shoes that are the epitome of “spoiled.” Go ahead, girl — get that DSW Sales Rack goodness. We won’t spoil your saucy secret.

BETH SCHWINDT — @beth_schwindt

Beth is an incredible freelance design reacher, working mostly in the banking industry. You can check out her portfolio here.


Beth wows in this Derek Lam dress paired breezily atop a Bay Area casual denim skirt. What’s that look on her face? Take note gentleman and impressionable young girls: that’s the look of a woman who means business, and won’t back down from her true stylish self despite the fact that the first human interaction she had today was at 4:30 p.m.

KRISTAL ADAMS — @thedarkkristal

Kristal is a stand-up comedian and founder of Little Girl, Big Laugh Productions which specializes in curating one of a kind, uplifting comedic experiences for audiences of all backgrounds and walks of life.


Oh hold up. Who the eff said that jewelry and shrug cardigans were allowed?? Kristal dares to dazzle in this ensemb, making the rest of us cat hair-infested yoga pants lovers cower in stretchy shame. Color coordinating and everything? With a “statement necklace”? AND THOSE BOOTIES?! Who does she think she is? A fashionable freelancer, of course. We come in all types. I see the error in my ways. We are all beautiful — even if some of us measure beauty by the number of times our live-in boyfriend has to remind us that we have “sauce on your collar.” We made him repeat it several times because we assumed it was a euphemism for sass. (For those keeping score, it was mustard).

IN CONCLUSION, if you find yourself making the daring road less traveled into freelancing life, don’t assume it’s the end of fashion. Whether you’re dressing for yourself or for your cat, I believe it was the modern poet RuPaul who once said, “Girl, you better WORK.” Now go forth, and be cute!

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